Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt Slows For Raccoon In Road, Respects Cyclists – Video


The Cruise Automation Chevrolet Bolts have been tooling around under autonomous control for quite some time now out in San Francisco without incident.

Cyclists and Oddly Parked Cars Are No Problem For The Cruise Bolts

Well, there was the rear-ended Bolt, but that was the fault of a drive of another car and in no way was it caused by the autonomous Bolt. And that 3-vehicle incident too. But again, the Bolt was a victim and not the cause of the crash.

So, to date it seems the Cruise Bolts are performing remarkably well, but what happens when a small animal, such as a raccoon, decides to put the autonomous Bolt to the test? Well, the result is that the Bolt is animal-friendly, so much so that it slows to allow the coon to cross the road.

You can check that out and much more in the two videos posted here.

What we find really impressive is how the Bolt deals with pedestrians, cyclists and some odd parking jobs.

Video description (above):

One of the many random trips through San Francisco that our AVs run nightly. Five scheduled stops, zero driver intervention, and one raccoon. This video is sped up 10x the original footage.

Video description (below):

One of the many random trips through San Francisco that our AVs run nightly. Five scheduled stops, zero driver intervention, and one raccoon. This video is sped up 4x the original footage.

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16 Comments on "Autonomous Chevrolet Bolt Slows For Raccoon In Road, Respects Cyclists – Video"

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Cruise looks like it is working well, but the high-speed, fast-forward video obscures the fact that it stops the car and pauses about 10 seconds when coming upon that double-parked car. A human driver would have just slightly crossed the double yellow line to pass the double parked car without stopping and pausing. Shortening or eliminating these pauses is one of the next steps in refining the Cruise autonomous driving software.

See video @1:00 and @6:34 for examples of lengthy pauses. The real time is shown at the bottom of the frame.

I saw that too but still this looks very promising and always best to be safe.

It seems that, with the notable if inexplicable exception of HFCVs, you are physically incapable of noticing anything positive anywhere! Yes, speeding up the video makes hesitation on the car’s part much less noticeable. But this is still pretty impressive if you ask me.

Considering that Teslas don’t understand traffic lights I do wonder what the huge lead Tesla is so often claimed to have in autonomy is supposed to consist of. It seems to me that GM and Nissan’s demonstrations are at least as convincing. And there was that report concluding that Ford (!!?) will likely be the first to achieve full autonomy. Many others surely have, or soon will, similar capabilities at their hands.

Yes, it is very impressive. I actually meant it to be a positive comment about Cruise Automation, and also point out one area where the software needs improvement that is not obvious when watching the speeded-up video.

Upon re-reading my comment, I can see how it can be interpreted as negative and that I should have worded it differently. I would change “Cruise looks like it is working well, but. . .” to read “Cruise is working well, but. . .”

Speaking of understanding traffic lights. I wonder how well these systems work during high winds, when the traffic light is swinging back and forth and not at a fixed angle or location. Is is still recognized?

Nice to see autonomous testing continuing to get better for manufacturers (Nissan’s recent clip, now GM/Cruise). Looking forward to hearing about cost and equipment reductions so these can make it into consumer vehicles.

It would have been a good service to readers to point out where in the videos the events take place. Not everyone wants to watch twenty minutes of basically the exact same thing, with awful, repetitive music to boot, in the hope of seeing a racoon for two seconds.

It seems to drive much slower than the surrounding traffic and a lot of cars cutting in front of it. I think I would be very annoyed to be following it. I’d like to see how it does in a northern climate with black ice conditions.

The video was slowed down for the raccoon, not the car. Play back at .25 speed (real time) and you can see the clock in the camera slow down at that point. Then it speeds up again.
Sorry to be the one to shoot this down.

Yes thank you for seeing that! I’ve been amazed at how many stories I’ve seen that missed this basic fact, easily seen on the timer. It was the raccoon that avoided the car, not the other way around!

Just stunning. Autonomous cars may make bicycling safe again. Great job, Cruise!

Insanity. Speeding up video is a marketing ploy. In real time, I’ll bet ithe car is creeping along…

I have encountered these Cruise cars a number of times here in SF. My impression is they are “timid” as they are extremely careful. So they can be a bit much if you are behind one.

That’s why they get rear-ended. The same was true of Google’s cars, over time they tightened things up and it stopped happening.

It boggles my mind that Tesla fans claim Tesla has a lead. They aren’t even in the game yet.

Not actually in any cars, or to be any time soon, but it’s ok, I guess. Hard to say until it actually comes out, which will be sometime, wait for it Soon…
GM, leading from the rear.

I’d still like to see the driver view. At least in the Nissan clips they were open about when the driver decided to take control.
IMO the Tesla lead is because they are putting the hardware into every car, so they potentially have the ability to provide autonomous driving to their whole fleet as soon as they have it figured out, unlike every other manufacture which cannot do that (because hardware is not installed by default) and will most likely market autonomy as an upgraded or higher spec vehicle.